The delightful Rossi entertains again in the fun new series-starter Riders. The story line is extremely unique. The descriptions of the horsemen as well as their abilities, weapons, and their horses are incredible. The strength exhibited by the only prominent female character is admirable. And the story starts at the end, serving as an interesting way to watch the action and secrets unfold.

Author
Veronica Rossi

Ratings
4.0 stars on Amazon
3.71 stars on Goodreads
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The Riders Series
#1 Riders
#2 Seeker

STACY’S REVIEW

I give it 4 stars overall.
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Point of View
This book is written in first person from Gideon’s point of view.

Setting
This book is set in modern day America and parts of Europe.

***** Everything below is a SPOILER *****

What happened in Riders?

Gideon awakes bound and guarded. His hood and gag are removed. He is questioned by Natalie Cordero about Norway. They drug him with a truth serum but he still doesn’t answer. He eventually begins answering questions. Once he tells the full story, she says he can leave to resume his fight with the Kindred.

Gideon joined military after high school. He progressed quickly to the Ranger selection unit and died in a training jump. His main parachute got tangled, the reserve wrapped up with it, and he didn’t fix it in time to soften the impact. It occurred on the one year anniversary of his dad’s death.

He’s released from the hospital a week later and goes home to California. He is enraged that he might not be back to his unit for a year.

Gideon hobbles around on one crutch when his mom is running errands. He receives a strange greeting from the sweet old lady next door. He walks to the beach, sees his neighbors’ dog, and is growled at terribly.

Gideon’s injuries are healed, with only faint scars remaining. A metal band has appeared on his left wrist.

Gideon goes for a drive and ends up at his sister’s dorm. He still feels anger boiling inside him. Anna’s upset about her recent ex, Wyatt. Gideon does not like him. Wyatt arrives. Gideon eavesdrops. His rage returns. Somehow it transfers to Anna. Her temperament changes. She slaps Wyatt and tells him to leave. She locks herself in her bedroom to cry.

Gideon goes for a jog. He tries to take the cuff off. He bangs it hard with a rock and passes out. He heads back to Anna’s dorm and finds her in her room. She’s suspicious about how healthy he looks. She’s headed downstairs to the party. He’ll join her after he calls their mom. He calls the army doctor instead to see if they put the cuff on him.

Gideon joins the party. Daryn is staring at him from the patio door. She walks to him. She knows his name and says they need to leave. Two guys and a girl arrive. They see Gideon and Daryn. Daryn runs and tells Gideon to. He stays to fight instead. He pushes his rage into two football players and sends them at the visitors. He also fights.

The leader, Samrael, agrees to leave when they find Daryn. Gideon chases them. They disappear. Daryn is in Gideon’s jeep. Gideon begs her to explain what’s going on. She says he’s War, one of the four horsemen in Revelation. He’s confused and angry. He calls her crazy. She runs away toward the beach. He eventually goes after her.

He takes her a bottled water and a sweatshirt. She doesn’t speak. He walks away. She walks in the opposite direction. He sleeps on the sand. He dreams about his dad’s death. It’s still night when he awakes. Daryn is nowhere to be seen. He tries to figure out his cuff. He feels an electrical buzz, hears a rumble in his ears, and sees a huge red horse galloping toward him. Gideon dives into the water and swims out far enough that it doesn’t follow him. It runs back into the night.

Daryn wakes Gideon. They get breakfast. Daryn brings up his horse. She know he’s seen it. Daryn opens up about her job as a Seeker. She got a brain download saying she needs to bring the horsemen together. She fills him in somewhat but there’s more to learn. They need to find the others first.

They drive to to LA, and Daryn uses her sixth sense to guide them to Famine. He’s in a high rise in a talent agency waiting for an audition. It’s male only, so Gideon is left to recruit him. He instinctively knows which one is Famine. They chat. He has a cuff, too. Gideon tells him he is War and they need to talk. Famine refuses and tells him to leave.

They are called into the audition and Famine (Sebastian/Bas) nails it. Gideon pulls him out of the room. Bas bolts. He chases him down a stairwell. Famine throws a disk and chain weapon at him. Gideon ducks and resumes the chase. Samrael and his gang are in the lobby. A chase ensues on a studio backlot. A security guard shows up. Samrael kills him. Sebastian calls their horses, each menacing in its own right. Samrael is dumbfounded.

Gideon and Bas make it back to the Jeep in the parking garage. Daryn is there. She says to drive toward Vegas. She falls asleep as they drive. Gideon fills Bas in on what he knows. Bas says he just discovered the quick healing thing. Gideon asks if Bas has the power to control people. He does but won’t elaborate.

They stop for gas and snacks. Daryn is mad Gideon guarded the bathrooms, making sure she’s safe.

Gideon mentally contemplates his proof about how God exists as well as all the bad things he’s done in his life.

When Gideon awakes, Daryn has pulled over in the middle of the desert. They are close to Death. They leave Bas sleeping in the Jeep. They creep over to where he is. The car is empty. Gideon sends Daryn back to the Jeep. He sees a creature in a flash of lightning. When he reaches the rocks, Death (Marcus) attacks him. They fight until Daryn approaches with Bas. Marcus is surprised she knows his name.

Marcus opens an abyss he hopes Gideon will fall in. A sword appears in Gideon’s hand as rage fills him utterly when he thinks Marcus is hurting Daryn. A scythe appears in Marcus’ hand. The two fight until Daryn asks Bas to flatten them with his bleakness power. Gideon sees the creature (Alevar) fly away.

They are wiped out for a while. Bas pulls the Jeep around and loads them in. When Gideon comes to, he feels awful. He hears Daryn talking to Bas and Marcus. She accidentally mentions demons. Marcus walks away. Bas follows him. Daryn checks on Gideon. He holds her hand. She admits a download is coming. He holds her during it.

Gideon tells Cordero he needs to use the restroom. The guards escort him there. Gideon hears a scuffle. Daryn is being escorted in. Their eyes meet. She looks relieved. Texas threatens him, making sure he won’t tell Cordero what he saw.

Daryn awakes slowly. They load in the Jeep and head back to LA, per Daryn’s vision. Their destination is Italy. The guys refuse to go without more information. She can’t tell them what they’re guarding because Samrael will read it in their minds. She says the Kindred are angels who were cast out with Satan. They want independence from him now. The weapon they’re searching for would open up another dimension they could reign in. Satan doesn’t want this, so he’s chasing them. They can track the object by picking up on its energy.

When the other guys leave, she shows Gideon the key on the chain around her neck. She says in her vision she saw them flying out tonight on a cargo plane, all orchestrated by Gideon. They empty Gideon’s checking account, shop for clothes and supplies for the trip, and head to the airport.

They get past the first guard easy thanks to Bas’ bleakness ability. They move through a warehouse, sticking to the shadows, and use GPS to track the plane they need. They use wire cutters to get through the fence and onto the airport grounds. They stick to the shadows again and barely make it on their intended plane via the cargo ramp. It takes off.

Marcus and Bas are asleep. Gideon and Daryn aren’t. She’s too far away to talk to over the loud engine sounds, so they talk over the walkie talkies. He asks her to tell him three things about herself. He asks her to come sit by him. She doesn’t.

Gideon and Marcus physically fight over whose plan to use when they land. Daryn asks Bas to call his black horse. It appears in the plane’s cargo hold as they land. Daryn thinks Marcus and Gideon should sneak off the plane while she and Bas try to use Shadow as a distraction. But as soon as that ramp lowers, Shadow runs outside. Marcus tears away at a full sprint. Gideon follows him. Marcus is shot by a security guard. They keep going and find cover behind a van. The keys are in the ignition. They drive towards the cargo plane.

The Kindred are here. Daryn sees them in the van and runs toward it. Gideon steps out to look for Bas. Samrael latches onto his mind and sees the moment Gideon sees the key around Daryn’s neck. Daryn tries to get him to come out of his stupor. Somehow she gets him into the van. Pyro launches fire at it as they peel away. They head to Vatican City to find Conquest. Then they’ll find Bas. She senses he’s okay.

Gideon treats Marcus’ wound as Daryn drives. At the Vatican, Daryn stays in the car with Marcus. Gideon goes to find Conquest. He wanders for two hours but doesn’t find him. He radios to Daryn but doesn’t get through. The car isn’t where he left it. Daryn breaks through on the radio. Gideon can tell she’s scared but can’t hear the message.

Alevar descends. Samrael and the gang appears. Gideon is trapped. He keeps Samrael out of his mind and summons his sword. They fight. Samrael gets the better of him. Ra’om the dragon appears and puts pictures in Gideon’s mind…his mom and sister’s reaction to his death and Daryn in Samrael’s arms. The demons promise more unless he tells them where the key is.

The demons then leave for some reason. Gideon loses time and comes out of it feeling awful. Someone is sitting on apartment steps at the end of the street. Daryn and Marcus appear. Daryn flies into Gideon’s arms. She’s worried about his injuries.

They see Conquest. He runs. Gideon and Marcus corner him. He’s British and looks rich. He’s drunk and almost passed out. Gideon punches him to so they don’t have to waste time trying to convince him to come. He checks for the cuff. He checks his wallet and finds cash, a student ID (Jode), and a hotel room key. They head to the hotel.

Gideon and Marcus feel a Bas buzz on their cuffs. His horse (Shadow) materializes out of thin air. Bas is astride, wearing armor Gideon has never seen before. They strap Jode to Shadow and continue. The hotel valets question them. They convince them to give them Jode’s room number.

Gideon requests an upgrade on Jode’s tab. They end up in the penthouse. They toss Jode on a bed. Bas and Marcus crash on the couches. Daryn cleans up Gideon’s face in the bathroom. They kiss. She says he can’t be something else she’s going to miss.

Gideon thinks Cordero slips up because she mentions something he doesn’t think he’s said yet…that Daryn stayed in Norway when the guys evacuated. He tries to act the same while he talks so they won’t give him any more drugs.

Gideon is the last one up. They’re all in the living room. Daryn has filled Jode in and told them all about the key. Gideon tells them about his fight with the Kindred and what he knows about each of their abilities. Jode tells them his power is enhancing a person’s utmost desire. Daryn tells them how the key was lost when the angel Michael was tricked. She was the one chosen to find it.

They need a secure location to plan. Jode and Gideon go to retrieve the cash in the other room’s vault. The Kindred are there demolishing the room. Alevar hides Gideon and Jode behind his wings until the others leave.

Gideon pauses his story when he silently realizes who Cordero is…Malaphar, inhabiting a human woman’s form. Gideon smells his stench.

The group rushes to the nearest train station. They head north as fast as they can. They discuss the Kindred and their weaknesses. Everyone besides Marcus gets to know each other a little better. They discover they all had their accidents on August 2nd.

Gideon and Daryn don’t talk about the awkwardness between them since their kiss. They act like business associates. Anytime Gideon falls asleep, his nightmares about his dad, mom, Anna, and Daryn run on a loop, an after effect of Ra’om and Samrael after being in his mind.

Cordero recommends another dose. Texas pushes the dose onto a cotton ball instead of into Gideon’s arm.

They buy supplies and trek to a tiny cabin deep in the Norwegian mountains. They train in a nearby valley. They hope the Kindred haven’t tracked them. They teach Jode to call his weapon, a bow and arrow. They kept to an intense training routine each day, but no one is getting much better.

Beretta says he needs to check in with his Commanding Officer. Cordero agrees.

Gideon sees Marcus and Daryn huddled together and is furious. He and Marcus fight even though he was been pulling splinters out of her hand and talking to her about Gideon. Gideon asks Daryn to talk to him alone that night. They agree to just be good friends at Daryn’s request. It’s not what Gideon wants. He says so but respects her wishes. When they rejoin the guys, Bas is playing a guitar, a gift from Daryn’s friend Isabel.

They sit around the fire talking and bonding. They train harder after this and start training with their horses. Gideon’s (Riot) is a bit wild. He eventually bonds with Riot and even feels better in the head.

Cordero tells Gideon Daryn’s there and he can see her when he’s done with his story.

Daryn feels a prophecy headache coming on. By nighttime it still hasn’t happened. She squeezes Gideon’s hand and apologizes with glassy eyes. Gideon rushes outside after Bas, who has gone for more wood. The Kindred are everywhere. The others join them. Samrael is glad to see Daryn and her key. Daryn runs back to the hut. Alevar attacks Gideon from the sky. Gideon summons his sword to defeat him. Pyro launches fire at him. He ducks and summons his horse, Riot. They are ablaze together.

Marcus and Jode summon their horses and weapons and are fighting. Daryn is on Marcus’ horse with him. Bas is in a trance or something, standing in the middle of the demons by Samrael. Marcus’ horse bucks to avoid a demon. Daryn is thrown off. Gideon can’t get to her at first but changes into fire with Riot and eventually does. He pulls her into the saddle behind him. His only way of escape is through the fire, so he tries to wrap her up with his body.

When they make it out, Daryn has a bad burn on her calf. She will walk down the mountain to her friend Isabel. Gideon will go back into the fight with the other horsemen. She drops the key around his neck. He asks her to go to his army buddy Cory at Fort Benning. He wants him to track their location via satellite and airlift them out.

Gideon returns to the fight and kills Pyro, but they just can’t seem to win with all the creatures produced by Ronwae and Bay. Marcus asks where Daryn is. Gideon asks about Bas. The person with Samrael wasn’t Bas; it was Malaphar. Then Shadow appears, apparently beckoning them to follow him. Jode joins them.

They ride to the river but don’t see anything in the darkness. They hear a helicopter. Alevar attacks. Jode kills him with an arrow. Bay attacks. Riot rides off without Gideon still astride but without his permission. Bas and Shadow appear. He says Alevar knocked him out and brought him here as soon as he stepped out for firewood. He sees the key around Gideon’s neck. Ra’om appears. Riot disappears.

Ra’om speaks in Gideon’s head, asking him to join his ranks. The other demons are with him. Samrael puts a blade at his throat and takes the key. Ra’om spits fire, changes into a man, tells Samrael not to harm Gideon, and leaves. Samrael follows him but tells Gideon they will meet again.

The helicopters land to rescue them. Gideon can see Daryn off in the distance. She’s not joining them. He goes crazy and is knocked out by Texas, who stepped off the helicopter. He wakes up in this interrogation room.

Samrael walks in and injures Texas. Cordero transforms into Malaphar. The key is a fake. They figured out the day it disappeared (August 2, the day all the horsemen died), the key was split among their cuffs. Samrael cuts Gideon’s half off and removes his. Malaphar wants to kill Gideon. Samrael says Ra’om won’t like it but leaves. Malaphar aims a gun at Gideon’s head and pulls the trigger.

When Gideon comes to, he’s in a lot of pain. Texas has shot and killed Malaphar. All three are bleeding everywhere. Texas makes a tourniquet for Gideon’s hand. Marcus comes in with soldiers. They treat Gideon’s hand.

Beretta enters the room. He figured out about Cordero and filled them in. They called for backup, which will arrive soon.

Outside, a battle is raging between Daryn, Bas, Jode, and the soldiers versus the Kindred. Daryn sees Gideon and runs over to hug him.

Gideon summons Riot and is relieved to see he still comes. They fight Bay. She hurts Riot. Bas comes to their aid. Gideon finishes Bay off.

Ronwae has Bas. They all gather to watch Bas and Ronwae. Samrael asks Daryn for the other three cuffs. When she refuses, he has Ronwae sting Bas in the chest with her huge scorpion-like stinger. She’ll comply now. She removes Marcus’ and Jode’s. She moves to Bas. Samrael hands her Gideon’s when she’s done. She melds them together into a small globe which throws out a portal.

How did Riders end?

Bas runs up behind Samrael, who is staring into the portal, tackles him, and they both fall in. The portal closes. Daryn tells Gideon it was supposed to be her. Ra’om and Ronwae are furious they were moments away from what they wanted and now it’s gone.

Daryn still holds the glowing globe of their combined cuffs. She says she has to get it somewhere safe. Riot and Shadow trot up. Daryn mounts Shadow. Gideon sends the injured Riot after them.

Gideon joins Marcus and Jode in their fight against the remaining Kindred. Gideon fights Ra’om. He latches on as Ra’om takes flight. He summons his sword and plunges into Ra’om’s ear canal. Ra’om goes limp and begins to fall. Riot catches Gideon in fire form as he falls. They land safely.

Gideon finds Marcus and Jode and learns Texas is going to be okay. Soldiers and emergency vehicles and workers are everywhere. He meets the real Cordero. Daryn hasn’t come back. They last saw her taking Shadow for a walk because he was a little riled. They know there is no plan and nowhere to go without her guidance. The three sign confidentiality agreements with the government and are given cover stories.

Six months later… Jode and Marcus come home with Gideon and all live at his mom’s house. Anna and Jode start dating. They’re at Marcus’ Ranger graduation. He did it for Gideon because he’s unable to finish training without his hand. Gideon, Marcus, Texas, Beretta, and a few others will comprise a new military division specializing in occult warfare. Gideon notices Anna watching him with a strange look on her face. She says a girl asked her to give him this key. Gideon asks where she is now, follows Anna’s eyes, and takes off running.

There you go! That’s what happened in Riders, the first book in this series. Seeker, book 2, is set to be released May 16, 2017!

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